How to Understand Your Medicare Supplement Plan N

How to Understand Your Medicare Supplement Plan N

September 25, 2017

Now that you're rounding the final turn to cross the Medicare finish line, you're realizing this is the first time you've had to deal with your health insurance on your own.

Don't worry it's not going to be that bad. It feels a little worse than it actually is because you can't open your mailbox without seeing a postcard of a happy grey haired couple trying to tell you what to do.

You probably don't even have grey hair. You know what happens when you assume…

So let's make this a grey hair free zone to talk about Medicare Plan N and if it's something you want to consider?

First Things First Medicare Part A & B

Before we talk about the specifics of plan N, you have to know how the first two parts of Medicare work. Plan N will pick up the slack from there.

Medicare Part A

This is going to be responsible for all your in-hospital treatment. You plan G supplement will cover the deductible for Part A.

This means that you won't have any money coming out of your pocket for that hospital visit.

Medicare Part B

This part of Medicare is going to handle all your outpatient services that don't require you to be admitted to the hospital.

You'll have a smaller deductible here for Part B and this is where Medicare Plan N is different from other plans like Medicare Plan F. Your part B deductible will NOT be covered by your Plan N supplement.

You'll also have a $20 copay for doctor's office visits and up to a $50 copay for the ER.

The reason you might want to consider this over other plans is you can normally save money going with Plan N over the more popular Plan F. So you might actually walk away a head in the deal.

Medicare Part B (Excess Charges)

Medicare sets the "reasonable" costs for all medical services.

Most doctors accept "Medicare assignment," which is a fancy way of saying the amount Original Medicare considers full payment.

However, some doctors think they're special and feel the need to charge more than the amount Original Medicare approves.

If that happens you'll end up with an extra bill from that doctor to pay, or again in more fancy insurance terms, the Medicare Part B Excess Charge.

Your Medicare Supplement Plan N will NOT cover those "excess" charges.

Skilled Nursing Facility

Medicare requires that you have been in a hospital for at least 3 days and entered a Medicare-approved facility within 30 days after leaving the hospital to be eligible for skilled nursing care.

After that your first 20 days are covered. Your 21st through your 100th day will be subject to a small deductible, which will be picked up by your Plan N supplement.

On the 101st day you will have to pay the full cost for any continued skilled nursing care.

Benefits for emergency medical care while traveling abroad

If doing your retirement right, this is definitely one of the questions you're going to be concerned about.

The key word in this benefit is "emergency" as this will exclude any non emergency services while in another country.

That means if you fall down some stairs and break your ankle during a trip to Italy with your granddaughter, you have some coverage. If you just run to a doctor around the corner for a sinus infection, it's not going to work.

But, that's the way you want it to be, because the big time money comes from those emergency services, not a random doctors visit.

Hospice Care

Obviously, you have bigger things to worry about if you need this coverage. Maybe not bigger things, but you're definitely more concerned about squeezing in as many good times as you have left when someone starts talking about hospice.

Knowing that you don't have to worry about these expenses should help maximize those final good times.

The Bottom Line

The main difference with Plan N is the copayments you have for your doctor and Emergency Room visits.

Other then that this is a solid option that going to be one of the more affordable choice you'll have available.

Next Step

Get your last few questions answered about a Medicare Supplement Plan N in Ohio.